Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, dies at 91

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait, dies at 91

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah died on Tuesday after four decades as the country’s foreign minister and then ruler, following an independent path through hostilities and strife in the Middle East. He was 91 years old.

His death was announced in an official statement read on state television. According to Kumit’s state news agency, Kuna, Amir underwent surgery and was then moved to the United States in July for medical treatment.

His death is expected to elevate his 82-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah, under Kuwait’s leadership. While the policies of the incoming emir are not yet clear, analysts predict that Kuwait will continue to act as a mediator in its turbulent neighborhood while the enemies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the one hand and the enemies of those Arab states on the other will deftly navigate between Iran and Qatar. , other side.

Dominantly between the Persian Gulf state of Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the south, with a population of 3.5 million, Kuwait has the world’s sixth-largest oil reserves, giving it more powerful assets that give it a degree of independence from its more powerful neighbors.

Seth Sabah was an architect and often the embodiment of an independent, non-sided foreign policy.

Kuwait served as a regional movement in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain clashed over Qatar. Allegations That Qatar weakened the rulers of other countries by financing terrorism, interfering in their domestic affairs, financing the Al Jazeera satellite network, and cooperating as far as Iran.

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Spread across the region’s tribal, religious and political dynamics, Seth flew in person from the Arab capital to the capital in the mid-1990s, and eventually negotiated, putting both parties in a quandary.

While Qatar’s opponent Cut ties with the country Together in 2017 – this time Egypt – joined by Kuwait Intermediary played againAlthough with much less success. Diplomatic and economic relations have stabilized and Qatar and its opponents have been severely disrupted by land and sea blockades against Qatar. Still in place. (Qatar denies interfering in other countries or sponsoring terrorism.)

Despite the ups and downs of the period, Kuwait has remained politically stable. With an elected parliament, seemingly like political parties and sometimes with vigorous public debates, Kuwait can participate in their government to the fullest extent than their Gulf Arab neighbors, who rule a full monarchy.

The country has been a key ally of the United States since 1991, when US-led forces repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait during the Gulf War. Today, Kuwait hosts about 13,000 American troops.

James A., who was Secretary of State during the war. Baker III said in a statement on Tuesday that Seth Sabah had “always been a clear and reliable ally.”

“Whether it works to calm difficult competition between rival countries or to provide disaster relief to refugees from war-torn countries,” he added. “Seth Sabah is focused on helping us build a better world.”

However, that stability has been tested. Under Kuwait’s political system, the Amir appointed a prime minister from the Sabah family and retained the final say on state affairs, an appointment that promotes long-term tensions between the cabinet and the elected parliament. And that imbalance led to its biggest domestic crisis in the second half of Seth Sabah’s reign – when the Arab Spring uprising that swept the Middle East in 2011 reached Kuwait, raising open questions about the extent of the ruling family’s power. .

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Kuwaiti opponents and opposition legislators, irritated by what they saw, as the government’s efforts to interfere in the parliamentary elections and the corruption scandal among members of parliament. Push for constitutional amendment To secure the grip of the ruling family and move the country closer to a full parliamentary system.

Thousands took to the streets of Kuwait to protest, forcing Amir to step down as prime minister and dissolve parliament. Following two years of unrest, during which Amir used emergency laws to change election rules in a way that the opposition said was in favor of government candidates.

The opposition-majority parliament was dissolved, protesters repeatedly clashed with police in the streets, and dozens of protesters were arrested for criticizing Amir.

Seth Sabah was born in Kuwait on June 6, 1929, the fourth son of Amir at the time. From the middle of the 18th century, his family continued to rule Kuwait. According to the official biography posted on the website of the Kuwaiti embassy, ​​the young sheikh was educated in Kuwaiti schools and by private teachers.

Appointed to a government committee at the age of 25, he held various government positions until his death. His most notable role before becoming rich was as foreign minister, a position he held from 1963 to 2003, when he was made prime minister.

According to Kuwaiti tradition, Seth Sabah did not rule as the position of amir should be alternate between the two branches of the ruling family. But it was Leading to power His predecessor, Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, was ousted nine days after Seth Saad’s reign in 2006 after a health crisis. Seth Sad died in 2008 at the age of 78.

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